Del Rio deletes Twitter account after controversy
- Covered the Redskins for the Washington Examiner and other media outlets since 1994
- Authored or co-authored three books on the Redskins and one on the Cleveland Browns
Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio deleted his Twitter account Saturday, one day after he was fined for comments relating to a tweet he made a week ago.
Washington fined Del Rio $100,000 Friday for controversial comments he made earlier in the week, referring to the events of Jan. 6, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol as a “dustup.”
The team had no statement on Del Rio deleting his account; Del Rio did not immediately respond to a text message from ESPN.
On Friday, Rivera said in a statement that Del Rio’s comments do not reflect the organization’s views and are extremely hurtful to the D.C. area.
“As we saw last night in the hearings, what happened on the Capitol on January 6, 2021 was an act of domestic terrorism,” Rivera said. “A group of citizens attempted to overturn the results of a free and fair election, and, as a result lives were lost and the Capitol building was damaged.”
The team had no statement on Del Rio deleting his account; Del Rio did not immediately respond to a text message.
Del Rio is expected to address the team Tuesday, though multiple sources close to the players have said they don’t think it will be an issue with his players. One person close to defensive end Chase Young said of Del Rio, “That’s his guy.”
Defensive tackle Jon Allen told NBC Sports Washington, “I don’t care about his opinion as long as he shows up every day and works hard. That’s what I want from my defensive coordinator.”
Del Rio’s tweets and subsequent explanation did not help a franchise that has stayed in the headline for much of the past two years for non-football issues. The organization has spent the offseason trying to rebuild its brand, officially changing their name to the Commanders, amid a Congressional investigation into owner Dan Snyder. Congress invited him to testify at a hearing on June 22.
The NFL continues to investigate a sexual misconduct allegation against Snyder; the attorneys general in Virginia and Washington, D.C. are looking into accusations of financial improprieties.
On Wednesday, Del Rio defended a reply he made on Twitter two days earlier. In a reply to Norm Eisen of the Brookings Institute, Del Rio tweeted, “Would love to understand ‘the whole story’ about why the summer of riots, looting, burning and the destruction of personal property is never discussed but this is ???”
When he met with the media on Wednesday, during a previously scheduled session, Del Rio said he felt there were two standards being applied. He said he was just expressing his opinion.
But in response to the last question of his news conference, Del Rio referred to the events on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol as a “dustup,” creating another controversy. He met with Rivera later that day and again on Friday morning, when he was informed of the fine. The money will be donated to the U.S. Capitol Police Memorial Fund.
Del Rio apologized in a statement Wednesday.
“Referencing that situation as a dust-up was irresponsible and negligent and I am sorry,” he said. “I stand by my comments condemning violence in communities across the country. I say that while also expressing my support as an American citizen for peaceful protest in our country.”
On Thursday, NAACP president Derrick Johnson called for Del Rio to “resign or be terminated” because of his comments.
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